Feds pass stimulus package - CARES Act
Congress passed the CARES Act, and President Trump signed the bill in late March, which is a $2 trillion stimulus package.
Soon after its passaged, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley talked via video conference with business leaders around the region about the bill.
For individuals making less than $75,000 annually, the bill provides a $1,200 cash payment, $2,400 for married couples (making less than $150,000 combined), and $500 per child for families.
Wyden said this package will supercharge the unemployment system, and Merkley said it was unemployment insurance on steroids.
On top of current benefits from the state, the bill will provide $600 more per week for four months from the federal government for those filing for unemployment, according to Wyden,.
He said it will allow those who are part of the gig economy, contractors, or freelancers to qualify for unemployment too.
The senator also said employers will receive a retention tax credit for keeping employees during shutdowns.
This package also provides small business debt relief, an aggressive contribution to healthcare, state fiscal relief, and help for education.
Wyden said there were changes made to the original bill to provide guardrails for a $500 billion fund to help support medium and larger size businesses.
Merkley said there was concern over companies using funds to buy stocks back.
Now the hope is the funds can be distributed sooner rather than later.
It sounded like major banks would be helping with some of the activation of the small business loans.
Senator Merkley said he doesn't believe this package covered everything and anticipates the federal government will have to work on more funding in four months or less.
To see the video recording hosted by the Portland Business Alliance, click here.
NPR also has an article that spells out each category of the funding bill.
Photo credit above to Portland Business Alliance.